TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Jordan Travis completed 11 of 15 passes for 207 yards and three Florida State running backs rushed for over 100 yards each in FSU’s 47-7 win over Duquesne to open the 2022 season. The Seminoles mounted six consecutive scoring drives in just over three quarters of play and the Nole defense was stifling in giving FSU the win in Doak Campbell Stadium and it’s first 1-0 start since the 2016 season.
Running back Treshaun Ward led a ferocious ground game for the Seminoles with a career-high 127 yards on 14 carries for a career-high 9.1 yards per carry average. Trey Benson (105) and Lawrance Toafili (101) also gained over 100 yards marking the first time in school history that three running backs gained 100 rushing in the same game. Florida State’s 406 yards rushing in the game are the most since totaling 478 in a 55-35 victory over USF on September 24, 2016.
Florida State scored the first 33 points of the game before surrendering a touchdown to the visiting Dukes. The Seminoles scored on seven of their first eight drives, as the offense was stopped only once through the first three quarters. For the game, the Seminoles scored on eight of their 11 possessions and punted only once.
Duquesne scored its lone touchdown on a 22-yard pass from quarterback Joe Mischler to Abdul Janneh with 4:37 remaining in the third quarter. The Dukes were limited to 164 yards on 47 plays – an average of 3.5 yards per play. Mischler was limited to just seven completions and 71 passing yards with his one touchdown pass.
“I’m really proud of our football team,” said Head Coach Mike Norvell. “A lot of work has gone into the offseason and into preparation for this first game. We’ve got a lot of new faces – a lot of returners, but a lot of new faces that have come in and had their first opportunity to go out and compete in Doak Campbell Stadium.”
Defensively, Florida State limited Duquesne to 71 yards passing and 93 yards rushing. The seven points allowed by Florida State’s defense was the second fewest allowed in the Norvell era. The Seminoles limited UMass to three points in a 59-3 win over the Minutemen on October 23, 2021.
The Seminoles’ defense totaled six tackles for minus yardage including 1.5 by Jared Verse and one each by Tatum Bethune, DJ Lundy and Joshua Farmer.
In addition to opening holes for 406 yards rushing, the Seminoles’ offensive line allowed just one sack and one quarterback hurry.
“This was the first glimpse of the 2022 Florida State football team,” said Norvell. “I’m proud of our players. It definitely wasn’t a perfect game; there are a lot of things we are going to be able to learn from. A lot of guys played, got opportunities. There is some good, some bad, things that we are going to have to continue to grow upon. The experience and the approach is what I’m really pleased about.
“It was a tough and physical camp. I thought we showed a fast and physical football team.”
Florida State scored on each of its five possessions of the first half, outgained Duquesne by better than a 4 to 1 margin, averaged 7.1 yards on 28 rushing attempts, 15.9 yards on 10 completions and 8.5 yards on 42 offensive plays and led 26-0 at halftime.
Offensively in the first half, Travis passed for 159 yards on 10 of 14 completions with four different running backs totaling 200 rushing yards. Ward gained 89 mostly spectacular yards on nine carries for an 8.9. yards per carry average. The Seminoles counted touchdowns by Ward, Toafili and Travis in the first half.
Verse and preseason All-American Jammie Robinson led Florida State with four tackles each. Verse, in his first game as a Seminole, totaled four tackles and the first sack of his career. Robinson led the Seminoles with two of their five pass breakups.
Florida State travels to play LSU in the Allstate Louisiana Kickoff at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, Sept. 4. The game is set for a 7:30 kickoff.